Remote online notarization passes in New York

April 12, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
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STATEWIDE Remote notarization is back.

It was a law that was passed temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic that was popular amongst attorneys, and now it has been made permanent.

New York has passed a law this week that will allow licensed electronic notaries to offer remote notarization services to clients anywhere in the world, including countries without a U.S. consulate or where consulates are closed, like Ukraine.

This new law brings numerous benefits, including reduced travel requirements, lower error rates and paper costs in loan closing documents, and faster delivery of executed documents via email.

Before COVID, traditional notaries had to be physically present with their clients to notarize documents. The pandemic led to a temporary order allowing remote notarization, which has now been replaced by the new law. The law requires that electronic notaries obtain a separate license to provide these services.

Electronic notaries must use a third-party vendor for video conferencing, identity verification, and credentialing analysis. This vendor must meet specific requirements set forth by the secretary of state, ensuring a secure and compliant process. While the electronic notary must be physically located in New York during the process, the client can be anywhere as long as the document in question meets certain criteria.The process to electronically notarize a document is relatively simple, with the electronic notary sending a link to the principal, who signs in on the third-party platform. The electronic notary then verifies the principal’s identity and witnesses their electronic signature before signing and stamping the document themselves. The electronically notarized document can then be printed and mailed or electronically transmitted.

New regulations require all notaries, including electronic ones, to maintain records of their notarizations for at least 10 years. While some argue that this record-keeping requirement is burdensome, remote online notarization offers better safeguards against fraud and duress due to the audio-video recording that is saved for a decade.

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